Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using soluble nutrient solutions in water, without the use of soil. Soil generally only acts as medium to support the plants stature and hold the nutrients enabling the plant roots access to the nutrients available in the soil.

In hydroponics, mediums like coco, clay rocks or perlite are used to support the plants stature and the nutrients are dissolved in water and fed directly to the roots of the plant cancelling out any need for soil.

The hydroponic method is ideal when growing plants in areas that have undesirable soil conditions and drought prone. Hydroponics is also very useful in places with limited area space such as urban areas.

Increased speed of growth and higher yields due to decreased expenditure of energy used to search for nutrients in the soil as the nutrients are fed directly to the roots.

water can be recycled enabling hydroponic crops to use up to 99% less water than soil fields.

chance of plant disease due to the absence of soil, which is harvesting ground for bacteria. The reduction of the use of pesticides allows for cleaner, higher quality and nutritional value produce.

No limitations due to soil type.

Hydroponic systems are generally mobile enabling growers to relocate their crop closer to the area of use thus reducing transport costs.

Reduced intensive labour to set up and run a hydroponic farm as cultivating, tilling, fumigating and watering are not

necessary in hydroponic farming.


Hydroponic setups in the long run save money and resources but the initial setup requires components that can be quite costly especially if you are searching for superior quality products that will reduce maintenance costs and frequent breakages.

Irresponsible disposing of spent nutrients into our waterways has a negative impact and can lead to eutrophication. Eutrophication is when the environment becomes enriched with nutrients. This is why Grow Candy strongly promotes responsible disposing of spent nutrients to growers of all scales.

The earliest publication on growing terrestrial plants without soil was in 1627, the book called Sylva Sylvarum by Francis Bacon. Water culture became a popular research technique after that.

In 1699, John Woodward published his water culture experiments with spearmint. He found that plants in less-pure water sources grew better than plants in distilled water.

By 1842, a list of nine elements believed to be essential to plant growth had been compiled, and the discoveries of the German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop, in the years 1859-65, resulted in a development of the technique of soilless cultivation.

In 1929, William Frederick Gericke of the University of California at Berkeley began publicly promoting that solution culture be used for agricultural crop production. Gericke created a sensation by growing tomato vines twenty-five feet high in his back yard in mineral nutrient solutions without soil. Gericke coined the term hydroponics in 1937 (he asserted that the term was suggested for the culture of plants in water (from Ancient Greek word “Hydro” meaning water and “Ponic” meaning work (or labour), literally translating to water work or water labour.

Reports of Gericke's work and his claims that hydroponics would revolutionize plant agriculture prompted a huge number of requests for further information. Gericke had been denied use of the University's greenhouses for his experiments due to the administration's skepticism, and when the University tried to compel him to release his preliminary nutrient recipes developed at home he requested greenhouse space and time to improve them using appropriate research facilities. While he was eventually provided greenhouse space, two other plant nutritionists at the University of California were asked to research Gericke's claims. The University assigned Dennis R. Hoagland and Daniel I. Arnon to re-develop Gericke's formula and show it held no benefit over soil grown plant yields, a view held by Hoagland. In 1940, he published the book, Complete Guide to Soil less Gardening, after leaving his academic position in a climate that was politically unfavourable.

Hoagland and Arnon wrote a classic 1938 agricultural bulletin, The Water Culture Method for Growing Plants Without Soil. Hoagland and Arnon claimed that hydroponic crop yields were no better than crop yields with good-quality soils. Crop yields were ultimately limited by factors other than mineral nutrients, especially light. This research, however, overlooked the fact that hydroponics has other advantages including the fact that the roots of the plant have constant access to oxygen and that the plants have access to as much or as little water as they need.

This is important as one of the most common errors when growing is over- and under- watering; and hydroponics prevents this from occurring as large amounts of water can be made available to the plant and any water not used, drained away, re-circulated, or actively aerated, eliminating anoxic conditions, which drown root systems in soil.

In soil, a grower needs to be very experienced to know exactly how much water to feed the plant. Too much and the plant will not be able to access oxygen; too little and the plant will lose the ability to transport nutrients, which are typically moved into the roots while in solution. These two researchers developed several formulas for mineral nutrient solutions, known as Hoagland solution. Modified Hoagland solutions are still used today.